We love a good Sax

In the plant world, plants of the genus Saxifraga, are lovingly referred to as sax’s. While we can’t grow any of the lovely alpine species, we have found a few that thrive here. Looking amazing in the garden now is the evergreen groundcover, Saxifraga stolonifera, as they have burst into flower. Who needs to see the Northern Lights, when you have this brilliant plant to lighten up in the garden. This collection from Japan’s Kinki peninsula was made by our friends, Bleddyn and Sue Wynn-Jones of Crug Farm. Hardiness is Zone 6a-9b.

Saxifraga stolonifera ‘Kinki Purple’

The morrel of the story is to also select perennials with nice evergreen foliage when possible.

Saxifraga stolonifera ‘Kinki Purple’

7 thoughts on “We love a good Sax”

  1. absolute favorite ground cover plant. I had a beautiful patch until the winter of 2 degrees in last week of December 2022. a few pieces only survived and are slowly making recovery. Zone designations are not realizing we are in the mountains in Asheville. now Zone 7b? even Zone 7a was not reliable. and these Saxifragas are listed as hardy in Zone 6a? It is not easy to garden here, usually because of late freezes in April after everthing is up from warm weather in March. We can be in the 70’s at Christmas, followed by low teens a week later. Good thing gardeners are so optimistic.

  2. Thanks for the info on Saxifraga stolonoifera! Considering this for my “March Bank” bulb garden.
    Can you tell me when does it emerge from the ground? Would it interfere with early spring bulbs that are just now almost completely dormant?

    1. It’s evergreen. It would be too large to use around smaller bulbs, but we have trilliums growing among it and they emerge fine.

      1. Thanks, Tony!
        Any ideas for late emerging perennials or very low ground covers that would cover what is soon-to-be bare (mulched) ground and that wouldn’t interfere with my early bulbs? (eranthis, snowdrops, chionodoxa, others). The woods behind have now filled out, so this bed is in heavy shade all summer. Also need deer resistant. (Oh, the trials of being a gardener, huh?)

        1. Nothing comes to mind for use with bulbs that small. You might try Selaginellas like S. borealis or S. mollendorfii.

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